MMIA Road: Still a nation’s shame

Airport road

A section of the road on a rainy day

. Motorists lament state of Lagos Airport Road, seek immediate attention 

FOR majority of visitors to Nigeria, the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road in Lagos (MMIA) is an indispensable route to their various destinations. It is also serves as a gateway to various parts of Lagos metropolis like the boisterous Oshodi or the historical FESTAC Town, the Apapa seaports, Surulere and the elitist enclaves of Victoria Island, Ikoyi, Lekki and Ajah.

Aside from serving as the nation’s gateway, many industries, banks and exquisite hotels are also situated on both sides of the road. These companies and businesses are reputed to rake in high revenue annually.

However, despite such crucial importance of the road and various concerns raised by well-meaning Nigerians, the road has regrettably been left in a deplorable state.

The airport road is now riddled with uncountable potholes, gullies and craters, which make it a nightmare for most road users. Some portions of the road like the Mafoluko junction and the descent just after Mobil petrol station are particularly flooded with water especially during the rainy season.

As a result of this, traffic on the road most times is very unbearable for commuters and many passengers have missed their flights as a result of the attendant gridlocks At a time some foreign diplomats have had cause to plead for the rehabilitation of the road, but all to no avail.

Most baffling was that, the road when placed side by side other airport roads in other climes, smacks of bewilderment and misbelief. It also reduces first time visitors to bemusement, outrage and astonishment when compared with the thrilling state of airport roads like Heathrow Airport road in London, Stuggart Airport road in Germany and even the Airport road in Abuja.

At a time, former Lagos State governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) has had cause to pay an unscheduled visit to the road, which was seen as a renewed attention to the many ills that have turned the gateway into the shame of a nation.

The former governor, who was particularly upset by the encroachment on the road of all manners of businesses, including the ubiquitous car dealers and furniture makers, gave hope of an imminent solution. But nothing came out of the visit as the road is still in its old deplorable state.

How can you explain the situation where motorists are tolled on the Airport Road, yet nothing is being done to put the road in order If we can have a good road that leads to the airport in Abuja, why can’t such be replicated in Lagos?

A motorist, Kunle Adegoke, said it is a shame that the road is still unattended to despite several media attention on the road, saying the state of any international airport road says a lot about the country.

According to him, the road is a demonstration of how unserious and incompetent a government and its agencies can be in a country where billions are diverted for personal use. “How can you explain the situation where motorists are tolled on the airport road yet, nothing is being done to put the road in order?” he queried.

A female banker, who works with one of the new generation banks along the road, singled out the junction leading to Mafoluku, Oshodi as the worst portion of the road.

According to her, lack of drainage system and encroachment on the road are two major factors affecting the road. “ If we can have such a good road that leads to the airport in Abuja, why can’t such be replicated in Lagos, having in mind that the Murtala Muhammed Airport was constructed in the 1970s and that Lagos was the first capital of Nigeria”, she also queried. She, therefore, urged the new government not to allow the situation to remain unattended to, saying it does not speak well of Nigeria as Africa’s largest economy.

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